Russian Ambassador sends well wishes to Novichok attack victims

The Russian Ambassador in London has sent his well wishes to those directly affected by the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Alexander Yakovenko welcomed the news that detective sergeant Nick Bailey has been discharged from hospital following his exposure to Novichok on March 4.

Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia remain in a stable but critical condition after they were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury.

Mr Yakovenko said in a tweet: "Glad to know that detective sergeant Nick Bailey has been discharged from hospital. Hoping for recovery of Sergei and Yulia Skirpal, too."

As he was discharged from hospital on Thursday after his condition improved, DS Bailey said "normal life for me will probably never be the same".

In a statement read by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, DS Bailey, said: "People ask me how I am feeling - but there are really no words to explain how I feel right now.

"Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up - and it really has been completely surreal.

"I have been so very overwhelmed by the support, cards and messages I have received - everyone has been so incredible."

DS Bailey insisted "I am just a normal person with a normal life", but added: "I recognise that 'normal' life for me will probably never be the same."

His discharge came as a Court of Protection judge gave doctors permission to take blood from the Skripals and provide samples to chemical weapons experts.

Mr Justice Williams said he had been asked to make decisions because Mr and Ms Skripal were unconscious and therefore unable to give their consent to blood samples being taken or tested.

Salisbury incident
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who fell ill after tending to poisoned spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia (Wiltshire Police/PA)

The good wishes of Mr Yakovenko come in the wake of his condemnation of the comments recently made by Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

During a press conference at the Russian embassy in London on Thursday, Mr Yakovenko said Mr Johnson's comparison of Vladimir Putin hosting this summer's World Cup to Hitler's 1936 Olympics is an "insult" to the Russian people.

Mr Yakovenko also demanded evidence for Britain's allegation that Russia was behind the Salisbury attack, saying official statements on the poisoning had been "wild" and the UK had "built its official position on pure assumptions".

In further developments Theresa May said the European Council is "standing together" on the Salisbury poisoning, as she warned the threat from Russia "respects no borders".

Mrs May was speaking after winning the backing of EU leaders who accepted the only "plausible explanation" for the poisoning of the Skripals was that Russia was responsible.

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